Foxwoods Resort Casino Appoints First Tribal Member to CEO

Posted on: March 17, 2021, 12:56h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2021, 01:17h.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Ct., has appointed its first tribal member to the position of chief executive officer. 

Foxwoods Jason Guyot Connecticut Mashantucket
Jason Guyot, seen here at the 2017 ribbon cutting of Foxwoods’ Thrill Tower, has been named the casino resort’s permanent CEO. Guyot has been the acting CEO for nearly a year. (Image: Norwich Bulletin)

The casino resort, owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, announced this week that 42-year-old Jason Guyot is the property’s new top boss. Guyot’s story is the essence of the American dream, as he started his career in an entry-level position at the casino some 18 years ago.

Guyot was appointed interim CEO of the expansive casino property last April following the abrupt resignation of John James. James succeeded Felix Rappaport after his unexpected death in June of 2018. 

Guyot took over the reins at a most difficult time, as COVID-19 was running rampant across Connecticut, and the entire US.

Butler stated that Guyot being a member of the tribal nation makes his appointment “a special milestone.” The tribal leader added that no one was more qualified than Guyot to lead Foxwoods “through its next phase of evolution.” 

Talks of Tribal Sports Betting, Gaming Expansion

Guyot takes over the CEO role on a permanent basis at a most turbulent time, as numerous pressing issues surround the tribe’s gaming business. 

The Mashantucket are continuing to negotiate with Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) administration for sports betting and online gambling rights. Lamont has already reached a deal with Foxwoods rival Mohegan Sun. But the Mashantucket has refused to agree to the revenue sharing terms offered by the state for the expanded gaming.

Foxwoods gaming revenue has continually declined over the years due to the ongoing expansion of competition in neighboring states. COVID-19 only made matters worse, as the casino voluntarily closed its doors for roughly two and a half months last year. 

Earlier this year, the Mashantucket paid the state more than $700,000 out of the tribe’s own pocket in order to meet its gaming revenue sharing minimum obligation. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun both share 25 percent of their slot machine revenue with the state. But the legal document requires each casino to pay at least $80 million each fiscal year. 

Outside of its trepidations in its home state, the Mashantucket are embarking on their first gaming investment, not in Connecticut — and they’re going far to do so. Butler announced in January that Foxwoods would spend $12.5 million to renovate a former casino space in Puerto Rico at the famed Fairmont El San Juan Hotel.

From Entry Level to C-Level

Guyot began his Foxwoods career in 2003 as an employment and diversity manager. He worked his way up through the ranks in various roles, including human resources, marketing, gambling, and hotel operations.

A lifelong Connecticut resident, a Foxwoods press release says Guyot was instrumental in pivoting the casino resort from a gaming-centric property to a more family-friendly entertainment destination. 

Guyot says his immediate focus will be continuing to reopen Foxwoods’ offerings in a safe manner.